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Peppermint Bark Cake

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Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe. 

Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe.  *

If you’ve been around a little while, you may have noticed the lack of cakes this year on the blog. Welcoming princess #2 left me with little time for full cakes until the Fall, when I missed baking them too much. So Merry Everything to everyone, because cakes are back! And it feels so good *karaoke break*. Let’s start with this gorgeous, ganache drippy, chocolate minty, Christmas cake concoction… the peppermint bark cake. 

Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe.  *

Inspired by peppermint bark, probably one of the most popular Christmas candies ever, I extrapolated the flavors, and made this cake. My perfect chocolate cake (with a twist) provides a fantastic base for 4 chocolaty layers. I filled and frosted with a white chocolate peppermint frosting. Top it all with a drippy chocolate ganache cover, a few pieces of peppermint bark, and some extra sprinkles for edging, and you have a stunning Christmas dessert centerpiece!

Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe.  *

The nice thing is, this is a dessert you can make the day before, and it doesn’t require refrigeration. The white chocolate frosting is a crusting frosting, so it is stable. If you really want to break this up, you can bake the cake 2 days in advance, wrap while warm and refrigerate. Make the frosting, torte, and fill the next day – the day before you serve. Top with your ganache and add sprinkles, then cover with a cake dome overnight. Just before you set it out for service, saunter into the kitchen, add some bark pieces, and voila! If you have an extra tall cake dome, you can add the bark earlier, of course.

To get those gorgeous drips of chocolate, pour your ganache in the center of your cake, then use a spoon to gently push it over the edge where you want drips. Work quickly as the ganache will start to set as soon as it touches the cake.

Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe.  *

I hope you enjoy this recipe for peppermint bark cake! I wish you lots of love and light this holiday season and always!

Peppermint Bark Cake

Peppermint Bark Cake

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Christmas candy meets Christmas cake in this minty, chocolaty, decadent peppermint bark cake recipe. 


Chocolate Cake

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

White Chocolate Peppermint Frosting

  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (see notes)
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate , chopped
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • crushed peppermint candies or peppermint sprinkles


Bake the Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F (170 C, mark 3), and butter two 8" round cake pansnofollow, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt your chocolate and 1/4 cup oil over a double boiler, or in the microwave (my preference) at 50% power for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave in additional 30 second intervals (50% power) as needed until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, eggs, and sour cream.
  5. Add the sour cream mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed (or working in 2 batches if not using a mixer) until the ingredients have just combined.
  6. Slowly stir in the oil and chocolate mixture and then the flour. When all ingredients have just come together, stop mixing.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between your prepared baking pans, and bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with no more than 1-2 moist crumbs.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to set in the pan 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely. I like to wrap the cakes while still slightly warm and chill in the refrigerator 2 hours before decorating.

Make the Frosting

  1. When you are ready to decorate, make your frosting. 
  2. Melt together the heavy cream and white chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave (50% power, 1 minute, stir, add 20 second intervals as needed). Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Pour in the white chocolate ganache and stir to combine. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Then stir in the peppermint extract. 

Decorating the Cake

  1. Torte the cake (cut the layers in half), so you have 4 equal discs. Place one on a cake board, top with a layer of frosting, cover with a layer of cake. Repeat twice more with the remaining cake layers.
  2. Add a thin layer of frosting all around the cake, then chill it for 10-15 minutes to help the frosting set. Add the final layer of frosting, and crushed candy detailing at the bottom (optional) and return the cake to the refrigerator to chill.
  3. Make your dark or semisweet chocolate ganache using either the double boiler or microwave method and set aside until it's not hot, but still pourable. 
  4. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and pour the ganache into the center of the top of the cake. Use a teaspoon or offset spatula to encourage the ganache towards the edges of the cake. Allow it to drip down the cake naturally. Work quickly as the ganache will set on the chilled cake - this is an easy way to get drips that stop part way down the cake. 
  5. Add peppermint bark pieces as decorations when you are about ready to serve. The cake may be stored covered at a cool room temperature up to 3 days 


I have used white chocolate chips in a pinch. They take longer to melt, but you can still achieve good results. 

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  • Reply
    December 17, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you for the reply, Mary! I’m glad to know the thick batter is to be expected. I think I figured out the cause for not rising much past 1”, my cake pans are 9” in diameter instead of 8” called for in your directions. Everything else turned out perfectly and the cake was a showstopper at today’s event. Fortunately I got a piece before it was devoured, and it was absolutely delicious! I’ll be making it again very soon, probably for Christmas Day. Thank you for posting this recipe and for your inspiring pictures.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I was very excited when I found this recipe, it had everything I envisioned and was searching for. However, something is not quite right. I made the two cakes yesterday, with plans to make frosting and decorate today for an event tomorrow. The batter was very thick and pasty, I had to use a spatula to spread it in the cake pan. They didn’t rise much either, so I have two discs that are 1 inch or less each. Too short to torte. I’m making two more today so I can have a four layer cake. Although I was certain I followed directions correctly yesterday, today I made sure of it; however, again thick and pasty. My ingredients are high quality and fresh. What’s going wrong?

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      December 17, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      I’m really sorry about that Larry! The batter is very thick (like, very very very thick), but I haven’t had an issue with it not rising. Other than swapping brown sugar for the granulated sugar in my perfect chocolate cake recipe ( they’re identical. I’ve made the cake both ways and actually just baked 3 chocolate cakes this weekend, all rising to 2″ to fill the pan. The only possible guess I might have would be over-mixing?

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